ManTech International needs information technology workers with security clearances and Inova Health System needs registered nurses; both companies are partnering with the Army Reserve as part of a new program that gives private-sector employers access to nearly 250,000 reserve personnel and 785,000 reserve retirees.
The Army Reserve Employer Partnership Program was launched in April, and 48 companies have signed agreements guaranteeing an interview to interested reservists, who are either beginning or ending their duty or who want to change careers. In exchange, the Army is providing training and in some cases even customizing the curriculum to meet the needs of private employers.
“A good example of how we’re adapting our training to help meet the hiring needs of private employers is what we’re doing with truck drivers,” says Col. Dianna Cleven, who manages the partnership initiative for the Army. “Army truck drivers drive under some pretty austere conditions, and we’re talking with the commercial licensing authorities to make sure Army drivers can pass the commercial certification test.”
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After conferring with employers, the Army Reserve is focusing on providing additional training courses for careers and trades where candidates are in short supply. It’s even considering adapting its West Point leadership curriculum to provide private-sector managers who are also reservists with leadership training.
Cleven says that employers should expect and prepare for the reality that reservists will be called for duty, because the demand for their services is not expected to diminish anytime soon. Currently, active reservists can be called to serve 12 to 15 months once every five years.